Once again South Africans are offered another opportunity to support one of the best education youth led revolution, Walk a Child to School campaign.
The school shoes donation intervention is led by two Stellenbosch based social change drivers, Abulele Adams and Wisaal Osman. The noble initiative was inspired by Adams mother who is also a teacher. The compassionate teacher shared a girl in her class who walked with broken shoes to school throughout winter. That painful story propelled Adams and Osman to start on the 5th of October Walk a Child to School campaign.
Walk a Child to School aim is to provide school shoes to children in need. The initiative receives donations from people who wish to make a difference in their communities. Teachers identify the children at their school who need shoes. Walk a Child to School collects the money, buys the shoes and hands it over to the children. Teachers identify the children at their school who need shoes. The criterion for selecting children is purely social need. There are no academic requirements for any learner to get the shoes.
Adams said the funding reliant initiative plan is to handover shoes monthly to deserving schools throughout South Africa. “The overall plan for Walk a Child to School is to provide children from various schools with school shoes monthly and perhaps expand that to other learning materials, e.g. stationery, school bag, school uniform, etc. Learners need to be encouraged to continue with school. Shoes should not be another barrier a learner must overcome in order to have a positive schooling experience.”
Co- founder Osman explained how the shoes are collected. “Ideally, we collect as many shoes are needed, but this is dependent on funding. We have completed a handover for 84 pairs of shoes at one school. At a different school we gave 30 pairs of shoes. It depends on the needs of the children at the school.”
The next planed handover schools are Ntokwe Primary, in North West in January. The February handover is yet to be confirmed but it will be a school in Garankuwa North West province. The March shoes handover will in Masiphumelele in the Western Cape. In April the two social change drivers will be handing over shoes in Goedgedacht School in the Western Cape. The fifth shoes handover will be at school in Brandvlei in Northern Cape.
Approximately 9 400 South African Randelas were donated since the the beggining of the project. The first handover took place at Masakhane Primary School in Port Elizabeth, Abulele’s home town, on Friday 23 October. Abulele’s mom is a Grade 1 teacher at the school. 64 pairs of school shoes were given to 64 very happy children!
From 24 October until 12 November, 2 266 South African Randelas and three pairs of school shoes were donated. The handover took place at Masakhane Primary School in PE on Monday 16 November. 20 pairs of school shoes were given to 20 very happy children!
From 14 November until 26 November 2015, 3 395 South African Randelas and eight pairs of school shoes were donated! The handover took place at Parkhurst Primary School in Westridge, Mitchells Plain, Wisaal Osman’s Alma Mater Primary School, on Friday 27 November. 32 pairs of school shoes were given to 32 very happy children!
From 28 November until 3 December 2015, 4 710 South African Randelas and two pairs of school shoes were donated! The handover took place at Rietenbosch Primary School in Cloetesville, Stellenbosch, on Friday 4 December. 28 pairs of school shoes were given to 28 very happy children!
Western Cape Department of Education and the District Director admitted that they are not aware of the project but would love to explore working relationship synergies. The Department’s spokesperson Jessica Shelvier said “From what I have read, it sounds like an outstanding initiative and it’s encouraging to see former learners of the Western Cape driving such a great social initiative. We would love to receive more information about the project.”
The two social change drivers have collaborated with organizations like Sindiswa Nobula of The Taung Child Foundation, Tshegetso Community Projects and Goedgedacht Foundation just to mention the few. Adams and Osman humanitarian remarkable story has been covered by reputable publications like Weekend Post, The Boland Gazette, Eikestad Nuus and The Weekend Post.
Durban born, American based early childhood development expert and social change driver, Bonginkosi Hopewell Mkhize praised fellow Activator’s intervention. Mkhize said “I have worked with children over the past seven years. I have seen a lot of kids going to school without shoes. I have noticed huge negative impact on those kids’ academic. It also affects their self-confidence. They have social withdrawal syndromes because of the stereotypical stigmatizing treatment from their peers. Most of them lack motivation and they dropped out from school.
Mkhize went on to say “It is very important that we all play a meaningful role as the community and address this issue by supporting initiatives that seek to address challenges faced by our children. I rally behind the initiative and I wish that everyone can support this initiative.”
Cape Town based early childhood facilitator, peer educator and social change driver Jonathan Ho’Bosch shared the same sentiments with Mkhize. Ho’Bosch said “We need more people to poses true integrity and leadership as community leaders. Young people need to also ‘be the change, that they want to see in the world’ so the people doing these programs must go to churches and society or Stokvel groups for assistance.”
Public members are encouraged to participate in the project by buy either buying shoes. There are no specific sizes or gender restrictions. Alternatively public can donate cash to the following bank details Abulele Adams, Capitec: 1348645057, bank code: 470010, Reference: Your name & surname
For more information, public can contact Abulele Adams & Wisaal Osman on